Credentials on the Way Up?

Was curious what everyone's take was on certain certifications, degrees and such to best move up the ladder. Lets assume you are in corporate finance as a financial analyst!

You want to move up the ladder to sooner or later the VP of Finance or a very Senior Director, possibly even CFO.

How beneficial and in what ways would a -->
CFA
CPA
MBA
MS in Finance

help you in your progression. What would be the best combination. Also if your plan was ultimately VP of Finance or CFO would an MBA with concentration in Finance be the obvious and most relevant MBA to obtain.

What would be most helpful:

CFA/MBA
CPA/MBA

Or all three? (Hard but not impossible).

What are some of ya'lls thoughts on this?

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Comments (10)

May 24, 2012 - 5:45pm

I can be almost positive that everyone's thoughts include telling you to use the search function. I'll have to search to make sure.

Bullshit aside, you just asked a very generic question that is largely dependent on factors we can't assess for you. Generally, the MBA will be your primary tool in "moving up the ladder," the CPA/CFA are for more specific roles, and a MSF provides development at earlier stages of your career.

in it 2 win it
May 24, 2012 - 5:48pm

I can't edit my original post?

OP, I forgot your question: the MBA is probably the answer.

in it 2 win it
May 24, 2012 - 6:59pm

I didn't mean for it a "representation of what I should do" but more discussion topic. I didn't mean for it to come off as "hey what should MY five year plan look like".

I heard that if you can, might as well get your CFA because in the grand scheme of things it could help differenitiate you from a random other resume for a starting job. Also I was told quite a few C-Level executives have CFA's.

MBA is of course I believe an almost mandatory credential to advance any corporate ladder of any kind. Also its an impeccable way to extend networking!

CPA I only know two accounting majors and they purely are looking at Big 4 - then exiting to a smaller firm and making partner rather quickly.

I really have NO clue about the MS of Finance. Is it worthwhile?

What is a MAC? Sorry for the ignorance.

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Jun 7, 2012 - 1:57pm

If you are talking about which will get you the promotion, then it is the MBA. You learn the least about finance (of the four options), but more general knowledge about business (including "soft skills"). And you get a new set of friends and vacation time.

If you don't have more than 3 years of experience, then go for the MSF.. but after that, go for the MBA or your classmates will all likely be younger than you if you do the MSF at age 27-3X (unless you are in Europe).

If you want to genuinely learn more than you'll ever have to know about accounting, then CPA.

If you want more relevant (but again, more than you'll ever have to know about finance), then CFA.

I haven't heard of people getting promoted specifically because they got a CFA or CPA, but it is common for the MBA (though not overly common anymore).

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